Lettuce company boss charged with sex-trafficking teen girl

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The owner of a Rhode Island hydroponics business that produces lettuce under the Boston Greens label has been charged with sex-trafficking a minor.

Lewis Valenti is CEO of West Kingston-based Atlantic Produce Inc. He appeared Tuesday in federal court in Providence.

Valenti has homes in East Greenwich and Reading (REH’-ding), Massachusetts. He turned himself over to authorities Monday.

Prosecutors say Valenti contacted Rhode Island state police in March to report someone was threatening to tell his family about his sexual encounters with a 17-year-old girl. Investigators learned Valenti had sex with the girl dozens of times beginning in 2014 after the girl’s boyfriend posted ads on offering her as a prostitute.

The girl’s boyfriend also faces charges.

Valenti’s attorney tells the Providence Journal he plans to resign as CEO.